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Chalazion VS Stye: How Chalazion Is Different From Stye

Chalazion VS Stye

Chalazion VS Stye

In some situations, it is difficult to distinguish between chalazion and stye because both are inflammations and appear near the edge of the eyelid.

What Is A Chalazion?

A chalazion is basically a small lump that becomes visible on the upper and lower of the eyelid. It grows when the meibomian gland becomes inflamed or blocked resulting in redness and swelling of the eyelid.

What Is A Stye?

A stye is also known as hordeolum is an infection caused mostly by bacteria called  staphylococcus aureus  in the oil gland of the eyelid that causes tender bumps inside and outside of the eyelid. An internal stye is due to infection of the meibomian gland and an external stye is due to infection of the Zeis gland.

Meibomian Gland:

Meibomian glands are also called  tarsal glands  because they are found inside the tarsal plate in the eyelid. The function of the meibomian gland is to induce meibum. Meibum is an oily substance that avoids dehydration of the eye’s tear film.

Malfunction of the meibomian gland causes dry eyes and blepharitis. There are 25 glands on the lower eyelid and 50 glands on the upper eyelid. Meibomian gland is named after the German physician “ Heinrich Meibom ”. 

Zeis Gland:

Zeis glands are sebaceous glands that are present on the verge of the eyelid. It also produces an oily substance that excretes through the sebaceous lobule to the middle portion of the hair follicle.

When sebaceous glands become infected this results in a condition of a stye. The Zeis gland is named after the German ophthalmologist “ Eduard Zeis “.

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Chalazion VS Stye Differences

People are often confused between chalazion and stye due to the same early symptoms. But later both are recognizable and one may be able to identify the specific condition. Here are some differences:

  • One of the common differences between both of them is their cause. A stye is caused due to inflammation of the eyelash follicle whereas the chalazion can be led by swelling of an oil-producing gland or oil clogs up in the entering of the eyelid. 
  • Stye is located near the edge of the eyelid while chalazion is located further from the edge of the eyelid.
  •  A stye is initially uncomfortable but the chalazion is not.
  • A chalazion is larger in size compared to stye and is developing slowly.
  • A chalazion is painless and non-infectious though stye is painful as well as infectious.

Risk Factors For Developing Stye And Chalazion

A stye and chalazion are common conditions. Either one could be developed by anyone. But there are some people who are at greater risk of developing them. Those who are suffering from the condition which affects the margin of the eyelid are called “ blepharitis ”.



It commonly occurs when small oil glands near the base of the eyelash are blocked and affect both eyelids. Other risk factors which increase their chance of developing are:

  • Poor eye hygiene means not completely removing eye makeup.
  • Skins disorders like seborrheic dermatitis or acne rosacea.
  • Using old or degraded cosmetics
  • The previous record of stye or chalazion.
  • Having a disease like diabetes or other medical problems.
  • Touching eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Using contact lenses without disinfecting them or washing your hands before using them.
  • Stress and hormonal changes can rarely cause stye and chalazion.

Is Our Vision Affected By Chalazion And Stye?

When a chalazion is small it will remove by itself and doesn’t affect our vision but when it becomes bigger in size it causes blurred vision by distorting the shape of the eye.

In the case of styes, our vision is not affected at all because sty does not cause intraocular damage.

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Possible Complications

Chalazion and stye will heal by itself but it may leave a scar on the eyelid. After surgery to remove chalazion or stye, the most common problem is the loss of some eyelashes or their growth and a small cut in the eyelid.

The problem may also arise by improper surgical lenses.  Hypopigmentation may occur by using corticosteroid infection .

Other common complications may be the return of the problem.


Prognosis will be better when you do not press or squash a stye or chalazion otherwise it will spread in the nearby eyelid tissues.

Try to not use any eye lenses or eye makeup during either of these conditions.

If redness spreads to the entire lid, you should be examined by your doctor but the outcome with treatment is excellent in most cases.


A stye usually vanishes in a week or two. The expected duration of chalazion disappearance is after a month or more.  Warm compresses help both in healing faster and sooner

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Chalazion VS Stye Preventions

Recurring of chalazion and stye is common therefore, one of the most important steps in averting its development and recurrence is cleansing the eye area daily. Other prevention tips include:

  • Clean hands before touching your eyes.
  • Not rubbing the eyes.
  • Keep your eyes safe from dust and pollution.
  • Replacing eye makeup every 6 months.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors.
  • Use safety goggles when using machinery.
  • Don’t use dirty towels on your eyes.
  • Never use another person’s makeup.

These are some prevention but if stye or chalazion comes back again and again then consult your doctor. He will diagnose properly and will start treatment.


Hence stye and chalazion are two different conditions but both are related to eyelid infection. Both can be cured by proper treatment and using stye and chalazion home remedies. They are not contagious until they are squeezed and there is no surety of their reoccurrence.

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